Culture Hack #2 - The Very Clever Inclusion Formula

It’s been a lot of years since I did either mathematics, or statistics, so you might need to stick with me for a minute to understand the latest Culture Hack. Peter Drucker famously said

‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure’

I agree with him – almost 100%. Measurement is a really important part of understanding how we are performing in a range of areas:

  • Against our objective – when we have clear targets

  • Against history – when we are driving growth

  • Compared to others – in areas that benchmark

Here’s my challenge as it applies to Inclusive practices and leadership growth. Most of what we measure is outcome based. We measure where we finished – at the end of a project, or at milestones, or with time regularity. These types of measures are lag measures. They are incredibly important. Diversity and Inclusion committees and People and Culture practitioners set targets for themselves and others in the business to achieve employment goals. I was extremely proud in my corporate life when my team achieved 8% indigenous employment across my business. We engaged 12 people with disability. Those numbers are outcomes and can also be referred to as ‘lag measures’.

When I and others share these types of outcome or ‘lagging statistics’ we are asked one obvious question – ‘HOW’? That’s when our interesting formula comes in to play.

Lag measures are achieved by doing - We measure what 'leads' to outcomes

The opposite of a ‘lag measure’ is a ‘lead measure’. A ‘lead’ indicator measures the activities that ‘lead’ to an outcome. So, for example if I have a goal of losing 5kg, then my weight becomes the ‘lag indicator’ – the measure of my outcome.

The lead indicators become all the activities that contribute towards the goal, namely the types and amount of food I eat and how much I exercise. In this instance my formula might be Weight = Good Food + Exercise divided by Bad Food. The abbreviation leads to our Weight formula

How I eat and how I exercise - lead indictors - determine my weight loss success - lag indicator.

So - The Very Clever Inclusion Formula encourages us to create more focus on the activities that lead to inclusion.

I’ll give you the words and then explain.

‘Inclusion equals 2 times doing divided by the sum of meetings, committees and reports.

It’s conceptual and 'doing' can be a challenge to record and measure. But is doesn't have to be pinpoint accurate. For the sake of our ongoing journey of inclusion I propose this.

If we were to spend twice the time ‘doing’ things that encourage inclusion in our companies as what we spend in meetings, on committees and writing reports, how much more impact could we potentially have!

If we were even to count initiatives each month we could see significant shift.

Here’s an example. I discuss inclusion in my monthly team meetings each month and I attend my national D&I phone hook-up. I also write two pieces on Diversity and Inclusion – one for my monthly team report and one for my committee. That’s a total of 1 + 1 + 2 on the above scale (M+C+R) – a total of 4 actions relating to ‘talking about inclusion’. That leaves me the challenge of 2xD – doing twice as much as talking. I need to achieve 8 lead measures. Just for fun, let's call them 'doings'. Here’s my plan:

  1. Share a quote on inclusion with my team and invite them to comment every Friday afternoon (that's 4 doings right there!)

  2. Hold an end of month bring your own lunch event with the theme ‘lunch from my place or heritage’

  3. Celebrate a national or inclusive day that month – eg. Independence Day, National Italy day, Harmony Day, Are You Ok? Day (trust me there is something to find every week if not once a month!). And do it with real conversation

  4. Sign myself and a couple of my team up to a webinar on recruiting diversely – and attend it!

  5. Ask a relevant client or business partner to share their strategy for Diversity and Inclusion

  6. Finally – read a blog or two – as often as you like!

There are actually 9 actions there, exceeding our ‘2xD’ target of 8. Sure 2 events in a month might be too much for some. That’s ok – we still have 8.

Many of us grew up with the saying ‘practice makes perfect’. We’re not seeking perfection here, but I’d suggest, practice certainly makes progress. Practice is practical, it’s doing, its experiencing. We learn, we improve, and we grow as humans.

Practice = Progress

What ‘doing’ ideas do you use in your business. I’d love to hear from you. Or if you’d like to chat more, e-mail us at

Gotta go – time for some ‘doing’....

91 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All